Bucks officially unveil new logos, merch

After the Great April Fools Day Prank of 2015 gave us a look at the Bucks’ new colors, the team teased an April 13 official reveal for its new jerseys. And last night, at a free viewing party at the BMO Harris Bradley Center the team unveiled its branding of the future (#BrandTheFuture?) in a ceremony that was attended by Bucks greats, the general public, a local indie band named Maritime, and a classic rock cover band, among others.

The actual unveil, which occurred at halftime of the Bucks’ contest with the 76ers with Bucks greats such as Oscar Robertson, Vin Baker, Bobby Dandridge, Michael Redd, and Jabari Parker (don’t worry about it) in attendance, started off with some fancy visuals showing off the inspirations for the team’s three colors:

After some more pontification from team president Peter Feigin and VP Alexander Lasry came the main attraction:

Speed painters!

No, really:

To the soothing sounds of classic rock covers, three painters sketched out the team’s new logos over the course of about 10 minutes, even though it may have felt much longer. Kind of depends how into speed painting you are. Nonetheless, as the sweet strains of “Don’t Stop Believing” rang out in the Bradley Center, the three logos–a ball and M combination, the new, fierce 12-pointer, and a Wisconsin silhouette stood before the public.

We got a detailed explanation of the significance behind the new colors:

GOOD LAND GREEN

The traditional color of the Milwaukee Bucks with a timeless twist. Emblematic of the deep woods and diverse landscapes of Wisconsin, the green is a hallmark of our brand through out 47 years of existence.

CREAM CITY CREAM

Just as the Cream City brick is the foundation upon which Milwaukee was built, Cream City Cream is the foundational color of the Milwaukee Bucks brand identity. This color is singularly unique to The Bucks, as they’re the only NBA team to feature a cream hue.

GREAT LAKES BLUE

Blue underlines the importance of the Great Lakes and multiple rivers in the history and future of our city and state. In fact, some think the word Milwaukee was derived from the Algonquian term “Millioki,” which meant “gathering place by the waters.”

And finally, we got an explanation of each new logo with its cultural, regional, emotional, and metaphorical significance:

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The new Buck is only looking ahead, an imposing figure determined and focused on the path in front of him. Several features chronicle the transformation of the team into an undeniable force:

1. An expanded rack (from 8 to 12 points) showing the maturation of the Buck, and underlining the point that he has become an even greater force.

2. The basketball feature in the negative space between the antlers.

3. The M Shape within the chest chevron as an homage to Milwaukee

4. With hard edges that appear almost cut from metal, and industrial but classic proprietary font juxtaposed against the curvature of the logo represents a symbolic union of urban and rural Wisconsin.

 

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Serving as a badge of honor, the secondary mark portrays a strong reminder of the rich heritage of Bucks basketball in Milwaukee:

1. Established in 1968, the Bucks are proud to be one of the five longest tenured NBA franchises remaining in their founding city.

2. The basketball that is alluded to in the primary logo begins to take concrete shape behind the antlers in this logo.

3. A stylized version of the subtle “M” from the New Buck’s chest in the primary logo is now called out. This brings additional focus to our home city within our new identity.


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The outline of Wisconsin solidifies the importance of the entire state to the underlying fabric of the new Bucks brand. The basketball/antler element once again appears, representing a geographical anchor over the city of Milwaukee. This is the symbolic expression of the team as a statewide unifying force. This is the only element in which each of the three colors in the new Bucks palette appears together, introducing blue while retaining a strong green identity and use of cream as the foundational color.

While tastes will surely vary, I find these logos to be inoffensive at worst–and actually quite preferable to the uninspiring design choices that the team has utilized in recent years. It seems smart to promote a strong connection to the city and the state, especially given the still-tenuous nature of the team’s bid to fund and build a new arena in Milwaukee. You have to figure that any additional relationships formed or strengthened by continuing to reach out to the community will pay dividends when it comes time for the inevitable public funding confrontation, which is still far from decided either in the public eye or the state government.

And MOST IMPORTANTLY, these logos are looking pretty good on all that sweet, sweet merch the Bucks have already started selling:

However, those hoping to see actual uniforms utilizing the new colors and design will have to wait until a while longer:

That’s the only aspect of this unveiling that I really find disappointing. We haven’t had enough other teams in the league with major redesigns like this to determine what a standard time period for the entire roll-out really is, but dragging the process out over almost an entire month seems unnecessary. I’m all for grabbing the people’s attention as often as possible, but on a night like tonight–when many viewers would already have seen leaked versions of the primary logo, at least–a reveal like this seems to be missing the impact that it otherwise would have.

Of course, maybe this is a bit too far inside baseball, as it were. But public reactions (and by that, of course, I mean Twitter) seemed decidedly split between those who liked the new logos, those who didn’t, and those who were left wanting more. I’m no trained media professional–and one of the classic strategies is to leave the audience wanting more–but I’d rather just see everything laid out there than wait for another teaser for another announcement and hope that one is the reveal that we’re all waiting for.

But regardless, life is good these days for Bucks fans. Not only does the team have new ownership, a new look, and hope for the future, but they’re also returning to the playoffs to try and make some noise in the present. Watching another step in the team’s overhaul just serves as a reminder of how far the team has come, even as we keep in mind how far they have to go.

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12 Comments

  1. Pretty good. I love the colors but why does every animal logo have to be intimidating? I prefer the old cartoony buck but I don’t think that will ever return so this is a pretty good substitute. I hope they feature the state logo prominently, I personally like that one the best.

  2. I’m really liking the colors and logos. What fun time it is for the Bucks. Bounce back year in a big way, 6th seeded playoff team, new identity on all fronts (owners, coach, colors, stadium), and next year will be even more fun!

  3. As I write this, I’m wearing my Brewers jersey, as I often do around the house, and thinking that the Bucks new look is not all that great (pretty much as I wrote on April 2nd).

    I’m really wary about the whole new Bucks administration, ever since the ugly move to bring in Jason Kidd when he was still under contract with the Nets, and after there had been a commitment made to our own, now former, coach. It seemed really bush league, and makes me question the integrity of our owners and Kidd.

    All of this to get, in Jason Kidd, a guy with practically no coaching experience. As it appears that he’s also going to be the main guy going forward as the de facto GM, it’s worth pointing out that he has absolutely no front office experience.

    Add to this concerns about Kidd’s character. I’m very reluctant to bring this up, because I don’t know what’s true from what’s not true, and I don’t want to besmirch anyone unfairly or unnecessarily. Sometimes athletes get tarnished with accusations unfairly because they are famous; and sometimes they get away with bad behavior because they are famous. I’m not sure where Kidd fits into this spectrum. I’m eager to hear anything that genuinely helps me to feel better about Jason Kidd as a person, which I think is very important to him being a major leader for the Bucks.

    In any case, after last year’s bottoming out, the Bucks are basically back to the mediocre team they have been since early in the millenium. Yes, there’s cause for optimism, but it ain’t gonna happen if we have poor management. For example, our owners/coach did not exactly set a sterling example of loyalty that would inspire our players to stay with the Bucks. Plus, they may have ruined their relationship with John Henson by their disregard of him, which also might give his teammates pause as to how management treats players.

    So, before spending hundreds of dollars on gimmicky merchandise, and buying into a new arena to make our owners wealthier (perhaps a percentage of their profits over the next 20 years could go toward reducing the public expense), I would be less than giddy about the current state of the Bucks. I sincerely hope that everything goes great, and genuinely wish the best for Kidd and all the rest of our new regime with the Bucks, but please pardon ornery old me if I’m careful with my enthusiasm.

    • Swisch normally you and I see eye to eye but come on man there’s not one current reason to be a negative Nelly about the bucks. The mediocrity comment is a shot under the belt considering the devastating parker injury AND trading Knight. we have an extremely young, talented team a good coach whose players mirror his intensity and new aggressive owners. The way we got kidd was bush league and I expressed my concern about it but they went out and took the guy they wanted. Went from almost last to top 5 defense. RIP John Henson but other than that it’s a good time to be a bucks fan my friend.

      • Like I wrote, I hope I’m wrong, and I truly mean that. Also, I genuinely hope and pray the best for Jason Kidd and all those associated with the Bucks, as well as us fans.

        Aren’t fans even a little concerned about the Bucks after the original, “Fear the Deer,” season under Scott Skiles fizzled immediately thereafter? What about the booming success of the Bucks at the turn of the millenium with Allen, Robinson, and Cassell, which went bust all too soon?

        Even as recently as last week when we lost to the Magic, I wasn’t reading all of this gushing enthusiasm for everything Bucks. (Nor, by the way, did I hear any recognition for my restraint regarding Tobias Harris; yes, I’m a little hurt, but it’s okay, I’ll get over it.)

        So maybe I’m a curmudgeonly skeptic, but I don’t think my reasoning is competely out of touch with reality. I mean, really, let’s not get carried away with beating the Knicks, Nets, and Sixers — should we?

        • Fair enough. But I don’t think this season is anywhere close the the Fear the Deer one. Bucks were seriously hot that year in the second half and were beating a lot of teams. Jennings was somehow a serviceable player and Bogut had a career season. Don’t forget John Salmons was averaging like 20 points a game. They had much more momentum going into the playoffs that this current team. Heck if bogut didn’t break his arm I’m still convinced Bucks would have beaten the Hawks in playoffs. I think it’s also obvious this team is nowhere close to the 2000’s team. That team bust you can thank Anthony Mason, Ernie Grunfeld, and somewhat George Karl for. I think the Allen for Payton trade was the worst in NBA history. Bucks have 41 wins and nobody though they would be this good. Beating teams like Memphis, Portland, Toronto, LAC, Atlanta, OKC, Chicago, and sweeping Miami (second time in franchise history) 76ers (second time in franchise history) NYK (last sweep was 1990) I think it’s safe to say this has been a pleasantly surprising season and the ceiling is so high and future looks great. Thats where all of the gushing enthusiasm comes from.

    • Swisch I am convinced there isn’t anything the Bucks could do that you would feel good about. New owners who are aggressive in going after talent should be something you value after all of the years of overpaying washed up veterans who just lollygaged around out there. Are you saying you would be happier with Larry Drew as a coach? He was garbage and Kidd is much better. 1st two years he has playoff teams of different franchises with only one allstar (BLopez2013). Henson gets plenty of time usually around 20 mins a game and played more than Zaza last night. He will get more next season, but due to his lack of rebounding and small frame (outside of shot blocking his D is questionable) he hasn’t gotten the starting nod. Will he someday? Maybe. But it seems like you are not able to let yourself enjoy what is the most exciting time of the Bucks since the big 3 days. Were you happy during the Kohl terrible trades and signings era? I doubt it. So why be unhappy with this bright future? Also I mean it’s new owners, you had to expect they would want to rebrand the team and start new being that his is a new era of Bucks basketball. I’m surprised they kept Hammonds around and figured they would have just cleaned house. Gotta look at this as glass half full man. Can’t always be pessimistic.

  4. I should probably take a break and give way for other fans to continue the discussion for awhile, if they want.

    I’ll leave off by saying, for example, that I really like the way the Packers run their team, how they develop their own players and try to stay loyal to them as much as possible, allowing that the salary cap and needs for improvement mean that we can’t keep every player for the duration of their careers.

    I’m a big fan of the Badgers basketball and football programs, and how they seem to be operated. I’m also pretty positive about the Brewers organization, even with the collapse last September, and the slow start this year

    So I’m not uniformly negative, and perhaps even somewhat positive, in general. I do have concerns about the basics of the Bucks, however. I wish I was more positive, but I’m not. I’m rooting for the Bucks just like the rest of you who comment here at Bucksketball, so we have that common bond.

    Anyway, I’ll try to let it go for at least a couple hours, and will try not to overdo it in the future.

    • Apples and oranges man. NFL, MLB, and certainly college teams do not operate the same as NBA teams. No professional sport leagues have teams that operate the same way. The draft and develop that the Packers do is great, but that just cannot work in the NBA where there are far fewer players on a top talent level. In the NFL you can at times get away with some mediocre players here and there due to the high talent in other areas if coached right, in the NBA with only 5 guys on the floor if they are all only so so they won’t ever win many games and have much success. You have to know that..right?

      • My point was that I’m not being negative about the Bucks just for the sake of being negative, that I try to distinguish between organizations that are being run well and those that are not. One might disagree with me regarding my comments about the Bucks, but it’s not as though I’m determined to be down about the Bucks no matter what.

        Actually, my comments come largely from frustration at wanting the Bucks to be a great franchise and then seeing things that bother me about the team, or at least concern me. I’m old enough to remember when the Bucks, reeling from the loss of Kareem, built a class organization and a perennial powerhouse in the mid-1970s and 1980s, and I’d like to see that happen again.

        The very first act of our new owners was a very questionable ethical maneuver to bring over a coach already under contract with another team. That bothers me with regard to the owners and the coach. To me, it’s a fundamental act of poor integrity that is a troubling indication of what kind of people we have running the Bucks, and what kind of tone they are setting for the future. (By the way, I wasn’t a fan of Larry Drew as our coach, but I felt bad about the way he was treated.)

        Then there’s John Henson, a lottery pick who in three seasons has never been given a regular role as a starter.for a sustained period of time. After the Tobias fiasco, I would think the Bucks would at least want to give their top draft picks a real opportunity to succeed with the team. It’s not as though we’ve had all-stars playing ahead of John.

        Perhaps a good example of a good organization in the NBA is the Spurs, who show loyalty to their players, and coach them up, and show real teamwork, while excelling year after year after year. If the Spurs make a questionable move, I tend to assume that maybe they know something that I don’t. I don’t have nearly the same confidence with the Bucks.

        Again, go ahead and disagree with me if you will, and we can remember that we’re all good fans of the Bucks at the end of the day, with a certain camaraderie; or is there really a problem here with somebody expressing their genuine opinions, even if they go against the consensus?

  5. Still hopeful that another logo will be reveled down the road that focuses simply on the new deer’s antler design similar to how the Bucks’ use the antler, triangle, and ball design nowadays as a secondary team logo. Overall, I have to say I like the new look and design as long as the blue accent color is heavily restricted in its use.

  6. Well, I like the new Deer logo. He looks mean as hell. Look out opponents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!